With the warmer season upon us, nature will be gifting us with plenty of sweet fruits that will call for a delicious pie. If you follow a gluten-free diet, it can be tricky to find gluten-free pastry crusts at the store. Instead, you can make your own gluten-free pie crust at home to use for every pie you whip up.
Whenever you’re making pie crust, the goal is to end up with a flaky, buttery crust that’s easy to roll out and comes out beautifully golden after it bakes. This is typically a goal that’s easier said than done.
While this gluten-free pie crust recipe deviates from traditional pie crust recipes, since it uses gluten-free all-purpose flour, it’s just as flaky and delicious as traditional pie crust. In fact, we think it tastes even better.
To give this gluten-free pie crust its tender crust, we use big chunks of butter in the recipe and incorporate the butter using our hands. If you’re used to using a food processor or stand mixer to whip up your pie crust, put the machines away for this recipe. Instead, use your fingers to flatten the butter into the flour so you retain big chunks of butter in your dough.
When the pie crust bakes in the oven, the heat will cause the butter to melt and release steam, which causes nice, flaky pastry pockets in the dough.
We also use sour cream in this recipe to help the dough come together. While traditional pie crust recipes use ice water, we substitute some of the ice water content with sour cream for an extra layer of tenderness to the crust.
Another step that we take to ensure this gluten-free pie crust recipe comes out extra flaky and perfect is that we roll out the pastry dough twice. This is our pastry laminating hack; it’s one way to spread the butter out even better throughout the dough and ensure a golden, flaky crust.
To a large clean bowl, add the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add the unsalted butter cubes into the flour, giving it a quick toss to combine. Use your fingers (your thumbs and forefingers) to rub/flatten the butter into the flour mixture.
Stir in the sour cream to help pull the dough together. Then stream in ice water, one teaspoon at a time, until your dough transforms from a shaggy mixture into a dough that can be formed into a compact mass.
Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, and wrap the dough well. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough out into a disc shape. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Dust your work surface with a little flour, then turn your dough out onto the surface. Dust the dough with a little sprinkle of flour and then roll the dough into a wide, large oval or rectangle. Fold the though until you get a piece of dough that is approximately the size that it was when it was in a disc shape. Roll the dough out again, except this time, roll in all directions to create an even circular shape.
Transfer the dough round to a greased 10-inch pie dish and mold the dough into the dish. Use a sharp knife to cut off the excess hanging dough from the edges. You can crimp or flute the edges as you wish for a decorative design.
Depending on what you're making, you can either fill the pie with whatever fruit or filling ingredients you're using and bake the pie, or you can blind bake the pie crust first. To blind-bake, pierce all over the bottom of the pie shell with a fork. Place a sheet of parchment paper inside the pie shell, then fill the shell with pie beans (or just dried beans). Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes, until it's slightly golden.